"In this form, the musical structure of each chorus is made up of four eight-bar sections, in an AABA pattern... Thousands of Tin Pan Alley tunes share this scheme and Adorno is quite justified in arguing that to listeners of the time it would be totally predictable. Moreover, within the chorus, the identical music is heard" more than once: "it is, to use Adorno's phrase, 'the same familiar experience' that is emphasized (1941: 18).
The A section or verse is harmonically closed, usually cadencing on the tonic. The B section or middle eight is often referred to as the bridge and sometimes as the release. Modulation is common and the bridge remains harmonically open, often ending on the dominant of the home key, preparing the return of the verse.
One example is "Down in Mexico Way", in which, "the A sections...are doubled in length, to sixteen bars - but this affects the overall scheme only marginally".
The Brill Building and other songwriters, such as Lennon-McCartney, often used modified thirty-two-bar forms, often modifying the number of measures in individual or all sections. Examples include:
Compound AABA form is the combination of an AABA like bridge (B) that contrasts and prepares the return of a verse-chorus pair (A). The Police's "Every Breath You Take" (1983), features a thirty-two-bar section, a contrasting bridge, and then a repeat of the thirty-two-bar section, making a compound of ABA and AABA form. Other examples include:
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